African Swine Fever (ASF) has taken a major toll on the nation’s pork supply, leading some farmers to ‘go big’ and breed the heaviest swine they can manage.
According to Bloomberg, one farm owner, named Pang Cong, in Nanning, Guangxi is breeding pigs the size of polar bears. Pang’s ‘swollen’ swine, which weighs approximately 500 kilograms, is a part of a herd that’s expected to breed more giant swine. In some cases, farm owners can reel in more than RMB10,000 for these massive animals.
A 700-pound pig in Yulin, Guangxi. Image via Sohu, h/t 荔乡网/WeChat
Over the past year, pig farmers around China have been feeling the pressure to deliver on an increasingly meat-obsessed population. In August 2018, the first cases of African Swine Fever were reported, which has led to a significant drop in the country’s pig population over the past 14 months. Beijing and local governments have taken measures to stabilize the industry; however, pork prices are still increasing as a result of the virus.
In Jilin province, farmers are raising pigs 50 to 75 kilograms heavier than a normal pig’s average weight (around 125 kilograms), with one farmer telling Bloomberg that the goal is to raise them “as big as possible.”
Large-scale farms are also supersizing their swine, as Chinese protein producers try to increase the average weight of their pigs, which could raise profits by more than 30%, according to Bric Agriculture Group Senior Analyst Lin Guofa, cited by Bloomberg.
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua visited Shandong, Hebei and Henan provinces last month to encourage farmers to resume pig production to “ensure a stable market supply,” according to an official announcement on the Central Government’s website.
[Cover image via Pixabay]